April 30, 2015

“I am aware that you have been having a long and cold 2015.”

“You couldn’t be more right. Started right from the beginning of January. Absolutely no let up. Many days below zero. Last time I remember a winter like this was way back in 1942, when Pop left for the Military, and I was in charge of all the man jobs around the farm. Blowtorching pipes, going down in the well to fix the frozen pump, lighting the furnace to a glowing red, and we still froze to death. It was just as bad. The good part was our house here was snug and I didn’t have to freeze my ass off (not to mention my fingers) keeping things running. But it was four freezing months straight with no breaks.

Well enough crying, here’s what was happening.

When things finally started to thaw out, we had built up a massive ice jam on the backside of the house, and as a result water backed through the east wall on the breakfast room and the south wall in the dining area. Pretty horrendous stains on both walls and the Homeowners Association hired a painter to restore them. So far it has cost me $300. It is my understanding that that is our share of the total damages that occurred in about half of our complex. It looks OK now, except the dining area shade and curtains had some stain damage as well. It is not noticeable, so I am ignoring it for the time being. When the kids eventually have to sell the house they can just remove them before they show the house. I will make a note to remind them of that.

As I told you earlier, the gang came for Easter. Patty brought and cooked a ham. We had the usual Bunny Cake. Only this time it was decorated with candles as we also celebrated Caroline’s 11th birthday as well. It was nice to have all the family (except Kathy and you) there. Everybody in good health and spirits.

Phil and I have been attending many local plays and presentations. In the process, we have been sharing lunches and dinners. My social life has consisted mainly of those occasions along with writing class and band practice. I no longer help out the kids at school 22. They changed the hours to put me on the road with the 5 PM going home traffic. 590 is too hazardous with all the crazy antics of drivers speeding and weaving to get home from work two seconds earlier. Besides, lugging that big tuba and all my paraphernalia is getting to be more and more difficult. I am not going to do it anymore. I hate to admit it but my 90 year old body isn’t up to it. I really do hate having to cut back in any way, but reality is reality, and I have to accept it. Besides, and to some extent this is rationalization, but I am spending more and more time getting the Relighting Us website up and running, and will need to adjust my priorities accordingly.

My energy level is good, and I work out on weights three days a week for about a half hour and try to walk 20 minutes at least on five days. I feel good, and fortunately have (knock on wood) recovered from my bleeding ulcer bout. I have adjusted my diet slightly to avoid any future recurrences, but in the process have gained a few pounds. I will try to lose a few.

I have been continuing to have lunch with Annie on a once a week basis. We hit the mostly Mediterranean diet places. My eating habits are evolving more toward that sort of cooking. When I go out with Phil, I eat that kind of stuff as well.

Started some more religious classes at St. Louis. Kathy McAlarney heads them up, and I like her very much. Especially as she will be our neighbor when our turn comes to join you at that big reunion in the sky. I’ll introduce you to her. You will like her.

I went to a meeting of a St. Louis men’s grieving group. Only three people there, including the coordinator. I went primarily to see if there might be any opportunity to interest any of the participants in writing a story for Relighting Us. Turns out that the other “grieve” was still deeply in the “woe is me “stage of his grieving process. I didn’t see any potential there so I will not be going back – even if they decide to continue.

I am working on a 13th Armored Division project for next fall’s reunion. It involves a Eisenhower Battle Jacket. More on it at a later time. And more on everything at a later time. Until then, keep an eye on me.”

About Tuba Bob